Social isolation, physical capacity, and physical activity in older community-dwelling adults post-hospitalization

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This paper investigated the potential relationships between physical capacity and physical activity (recreational and household) with social isolation amongst older adults. Data for hospitalized Victorians (n = 311) were analyzed in univariable, multivariable and latent growth curve analyses over six months. Measures included items from the Friendship Scale, Lubben Social Network Scale (LSNS-6), Australian Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers Household (SDAC), and Phone-FITT. Over six months, improvements in physical capacity were related to reduced social isolation (−0.65, CI = −1.21, −0.09). Increased total (0.02, CI = 0.004, 0.04) and household-based physical activity (0.03, CI = 0.001, 0.06) were related to contact with more relatives. Higher baseline household-based physical activity was related to contact with fewer relatives (−0.01, CI = −0.02, −0.001). Along with physical capacity and activity, household-based physical activity appears to be strongly related to social isolation. Further research is required to determine the direction of relationships, to provide evidence for effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Aged
  • Exercise
  • Household
  • Mental health
  • Recreational

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